Zambia: call to action for female condom uptake
Over 100 delegates from 20 African, Latin American and Caribbean countries met to address the scale up of female condom programming at country level, at the Global Consultation on Female Condom programming in Lusaka, Zambia, 2nd-6th December, 2014.
In the resulting ‘Lusaka Call to Action’, they called on governments and the donor community to increase their support to make female condoms more widely accessible and used, as a powerful tool against unintended pregnancies, HIV transmission and other sexually transmitted infections. The Call to Action requests governments and donors to include female condoms on the EMLs, facilitate procurement, support demand generation and awareness campaigns, and allocate dedicated funding.
The five-day meeting, organized by United Nations Population Fund and hosted by the Government of the Republic of Zambia sought to review the strengths and gaps of condom programming efforts, design strategies for improving female condom programming at policy, service delivery, and community levels, and identify the factors that facilitate or hinder condom use in general and female condom use in particular.
Participants shared case studies from South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Kenya, and discussed Zambia’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Program and Rights, including HIV and sexually transmitted infection programs. They went on a field trip to experience female condom education, distribution and community mobilization in Lusaka, and reviewed strategies for female condom uptake – such as negotiation techniques to encourage women to use FC, methods used to promote FC to men, sustainable flow of supply, effective access, and capacity development for service providers.
The meeting also addressed the issue of demand generation for female condom, and how to design communication strategies to create demand, using the Demand Generation Implementation Kit, a resource of the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities.